Sam Allardyce fielded Emre, Aussie striker Mark Viduka and Czech defender David Rozehnal for the 127th Tyne-Wear derby clash at the Stadium of sh*te, while Nicky Butt (suspended), Jose Enrique and Claudio Cacapa are the players who make way, with Charles N’Zogbia operating from the left-back position.
Alan Smith joining the force in midfield with Emre, Joey Barton and James Milner, while Michael Owen wears the captain’s armband and partnered by Viduka in attack.
The atmosphere was absolutely screaming, when both team starts the game. You are absolutely will not seeing anything like this anywhere. The two great passionate football fans meet each other and the pride is talking beside skill and fortunates.
The homeside took the early attack while Newcastle calmly defending and counter attacking them, with Emre and Barton commanding the centre of midfield. In the 20minutes mark, Owen is fouled in the air by McShane. Barton’s free-kick was too much on it and Gordon is able to gather underneath his crossbar.
N’Zogbia drives United forward from down the left-hand touchline, he skips two mackem challenges before the former team-mate, Michael Chopra brings him down and he gets the first yellow card of the afternoon.
Again in the 31st minutes after sunderland tries their luck, United break through N’Zogbia on the left and the ball is worked, via Barton, to Viduka in the area, he dummies before shooting goalwards to meet McShane’s deflection behind. Emre takes the corner but McShane is able to head clear.
For several minutes later, Newcastle was under serious threat from the macKems, with Ian Harte’s drive is denied by Steve Harper. David Rozehnal hacks away another ball from inside the six-yard box while Grant Leadbitter had smashed the rebounds from the edge of the edge of the area.
The Magpies cannot clear Wallace attacks the by-line before clipping into the centre where an unmarked Leadbitter heads over when really he should’ve found the target. Chopra has another retrieve ball before he slipping it for Leadbitter to strike, but his 20 yard drive draws wide.
In the dying minutes, former Toon boy Chopra has to forced a top drawer save by Steve Harper when his spinning 20 yards out aiming for the Magpies top corner. The ball runs clear for N’Zogbia to completes the clearance. Before the first-half ends in level terms.
Seriously, we are not the better side for this half, and Big Sam should have a good teamtalk during the break to solve the problems. United should coming more in attack rather than waiting for them to come into our own half and hoping to catch them with a counter attack.
Sunderland AFC: Craig Gordon, Nyron Nosworthy (Danny Collins 24″), Ian Harte, Danny Higginbottom, Paul McShane, Grant Leadbitter, Ross Wallace, Dickson Etuhu, Carlos Edwards, Michael Chopra, Kenwyne Jones
Subs: Anthony Stokes, Liam Miller, Darren Ward, David Connolly
Newcastle United FC: Steve Harper, Steven Taylor, Charles N’Zogbia, Abdoulaye Faye, David Rozehnal, James Milner, Alan Smith, Emre, Joey Barton, Michael Owen, Mark Viduka
Subs: Jose Enrique, Oba Martins, Geremi, Habib Beye, Fraser Forster
Referee: M Atkinson